Vicki is Head of Compliance & Technical Support at SMC Financial.

She has worked in the financial services industry for over 12 years with vast experience in banking, sales and management roles. These have included working in senior roles in compliance, fraud prevention and paraplanning for firms such as Lloyds TSB and Co-Operative Bank.

Vicki has now completed the majority of her studies towards her level 4 diploma in financial planning with just one exam left to sit shortly.

Hi Vicki, hope all’s well. You’ve been at SMC since the start and have over 12 years’ experience in the financial industry. What is your favourite thing about working in this sector?

The variety! There are so many opportunities available which means its easy for you to progress your career. I started working in a contact centre 12 years ago and the experience and knowledge I’ve built up through various roles has enabled me to set up SMC Financial Services with my partner and Director Sean.

Sean McDermott

Tell me a bit about your background, where did you grow up and what schools, colleges and/or Universities did you attend?

I grew up in Skelmersdale (yes, the place with roundabouts!) and attended high school in Ormskirk. I studied nursing at Edge Hill university but left part way through and started a career in banking as the medical profession wasn’t for me.

What does a typical day in the office for you at SMC entail?

I’m lucky enough to only work part time at the moment but the days I do work are busy with management meetings and staying on top of the company compliance. I review case files to ensure they meet FCA requirements and our own standards then give feedback to the team where necessary.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the Financial services industry?

Work hard and be adaptable to change. The financial services industry doesn’t stand still, there is constant change with regulation and rules and you have to be able to keep up to date otherwise you’ll be left behind.

Given that you’re in the financial advice sector, you should be good with money... so, what’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve spent too much money on?

All parents will relate to this…. Blind bags! My daughter went through a phase of wanting to collect every Shopkins (child’s toy) she could in the series. The only problem is you don’t know what is inside so sometimes end up buying the same thing twice. I’ve spent far too much money on these mystery toys over the years and end up with 10 of the same one. 😂

Outside of work, what are your passions and hobbies?

I have 3 children, the youngest being 6 months old so they keep me very busy. I used to be a keen runner and hope to get back into running again when the children are a little older and I have some more free time.

What makes you laugh the most?

My sister, she’s hilarious and also the random silly little things my children come out with. The movie Step Brothers also makes me laugh out loud.

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Tea. I love a good brew, Yorkshire Tea all the way.

Yorkshire Tea

What Is your best pizza topping combination? I mean, everyone loves pizza, right?!

Something spicy, I’d probably go for pepperoni and chillies or Cajun chicken and peppers. Crust on Bold Street in Liverpool does a fabulous spicy pizza called a Piccante, it’s my favourite.

Finally, the question that can split the city... what’s your allegiance Red or Blue?

As a child, my dad used to make me wear a bobble hat and scarf to go and watch the mighty blues. I haven’t been to a match for years but it’s still Everton I’d choose over Liverpool any day.

Everton FC